I’d say the typical American starts their day off with a thermos or to-go cup of coffee, either made at home or from their favorite (most convenient) Starbucks, McDonald’s, or some donut shop on the route to work. Meanwhile, some early birds (the last of a dying breed) begin on a slower note by planning out the day or reading a good book over a mug of coffee before they hit the road.

Either way, the common denominator, regardless of when or how you consume it, is that we are all hopelessly lost in an everlasting love affair with coffee. It’s a relationship that transcends the general appreciation for aroma, taste, and a needed boost of energy in the morning after watching YouTube videos all night. It’s much more than a beverage, there’s a greater culture associated with each cup – a culture that can be used to your benefit.

Productivity Benefit – Maximize Efficiency

The caffeine from a nice hot cup of coffee delivers a timely energy boost in our everyday lives, but it doesn’t stop there. Coffee improves one’s alertness level, which helps improve both mental and physical performance. In fact, for you right brainers out there, according to Stephen Braun, the author of Buzz: The Science and Lore of Alcohol and Caffeine, creativity stimulation has been linked to coffee consumption. Left brainers, have no fear, we’ve got something for you too. The improved levels of alertness increase your ability to make sound judgments. Coffee can also increase the speed at which you can consume and digest content (even if it’s just videos of porcupines eating bananas). Simply put, it makes you learn faster! While studying requires focus and attention, it has been proven that 200 mg of caffeine can help you identify words and phrases faster than you could without coffee. Basically, coffee amplifies our strengths and empowers us to be the best version of ourselves. I’m sold.

Social Benefit – Coffee Break

Somewhere along the way, coffee seems to have transitioned from a luxury, to a necessity #SoExtra. As Americans, we live in a grab-and-go society, and can therefore easily mislabel a few likes on Instagram as our human interaction quota for the day. But in the midst of the chaos, coffee lends an excuse to reconnect with old friends or chat with a fellow businesswoman. A coffee break is always a good idea – plus it has vastly less calories than a glass of wine and can be enjoyed guilt-free at anytime of day. It’s the easiest way to slow down the fast pace of life and nurture the  relationships in your life.

Dietary Benefit – A Coffee a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

It’s true! Despite having somewhat of a bad rap amongst older adults (sorry), coffee is loaded with nutritional properties that pack a healthy punch – even if you go decaf.

In addition to making you more physically energized, coffee grants the capability to set ambitious, and sometimes unrealistic, daily work-out goals (take that Apple watch!). And coffee has its fair-share of dietary benefits. First off, without sugar or cream, coffee is a nearly zero calorie drink. Furthermore, caffeine can boost your metabolic rate and increase fat burning while also serving as a natural (yet temporary) appetite suppressant – trust me, I know from first hand experience that it doesn’t hold you over for long. This magic potion is also said to help protect you from type 2 diabetes due to increased plasma levels of the protein sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). The consumption of caffeine is also associated with fewer incidences intake Parkinson’s disease, in fact, it can help control movement in people suffering from Parkinson’s, according to a study conducted at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. For additional health benefits check out Medical News Today.

Cultural Benefit –  Travel the World Through Your Mug

Personally, I love the smell of coffee because it’s the aroma I woke up to as a child, reminiscent of a time when I didn’t have bills, student loans, nor any real responsibilities. I knew the house was awake when the scent of Haitian coffee danced into my room. Having developed a taste for Haitian coffee, I have simultaneously developed a keen appreciation for the similarities and differences of coffee from all over the world. Bring the global to your local, and explore cultural traditions through coffee. Go to a Turkish restaurant and get your fortune told or try butter coffee from a Tibetan restaurant. Cliché Alert: The world is your oyster.

Sustainable Benefit – Exercise Your Ethics Muscle

There are numerous ethical issues within the coffee industry, including environmental destruction, exploitation of farmers, wasteful packaging, and CO2 emissions. You can avoid some of these unethical boobie traps by supporting specialty roasters in your community who are committed to improving public understanding of what it takes to get your coffee from the farm to your mug. Additionally, with programs like Fairtrade and Direct Trade, it’s becoming a bit easier to select coffee that has been produced ethically.

Whether with people or by yourself, on the go or sitting down, for your caffeine fix or for the taste, let your cup of coffee propel you to be the invincible boss bitch you were destined to be.